The world’s top mining companies are committing to a goal of reaching a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner. Under the International council on mining and metals, a group of members have made a new commitment to reach a net-zero scope of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The year could mark a pivotal step in the industry as over 28 mining companies will be taking on initiatives to significantly scale back their greenhouse gas production.
The announcement comes as a reaction to the UN climate gathering that will be achieving a more ambitious climate action plan. Over 200 countries signed into the 2015 Paris agreement and miners have established a plan to get on board with what their national government has agreed to.
Miners that include the Anglo American company, Rio Tinto, BHP, and others are working with environmental activists as well as their shareholders to commit to new net-zero carbon emissions plans for 2050. The commitment represents a chance to cut emissions by up to one-third in the global metals and mining industry. The 28 companies that are a part of the initiative have sites in 50 countries and over 650 locations. The goal is to continue to report annually and progress the process of decarbonizing in an annual sense too.
Mining is set to take place under a challenge to decarbonize and there are many companies that are producing metals like nickel and copper that are going to be crucial to the future of this industry. Indirect and direct emissions are going to be lowered first by using more electric vehicles, renewable energy, and a reduction in equipment that relies on diesel.
The targets are going to look first into industries like the iron ore and steel industry which require carbon to produce. Carbon-free steel has not been proven but further research into this technology could lead to a revolution in manufacturing while reducing carbon emissions.
If these companies are able to continually run their mines and also stay committed to reducing their carbon emissions, we will see a vast reduction in carbon emissions from the industry. The mining industry has faced considerable pressure from investors and governments because it is responsible for around 4-7% of the total greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. Around 1% of the total methane emissions occur from coal mining and a significant share of carbon emissions occur from this industry as a result of heavy use of diesel.
To stay on track, mining companies will need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% by the year 2030 to follow the agreement of the Paris goals. Further scaling efforts to reach a net-zero will need to drop significantly in the 2 decades left to the deadline.
The shifting demand for minerals in electronics and green technology are causing many companies to prioritize their efforts into mining sites that include mining for cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, and rare earth elements for the production of more electric vehicles, equipment, and greenhouse gas reducing electronic substitutes.
If your company is interested in signing into this agreement or you would like to learn more about technology that you could be used to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, contact us today.